Friday, May 12, 2006

Springtime in Brussels

This week I have been working in Brussels which is experiencing very beautiful spring-like weather. The trees in the park are filled with leaves which makes my jogging in the park very pleasant. Sadly, these trees are in danger -- not from evil capitalists wanting to clear cut city parks -- but instead the danger comes from the European Union's bureaucratic machine which last year produced 1,900 TONS of written materials including reports, press releases, etc. according to a recently completed report published in the Financial Times' Observer column (May 11, 2006).

Call me a tree hugger if you want but I would much prefer more trees in the world instead of more multi-colored brochures explaining who's who in the European Commission. "Save a tree, fire a bureaucrat" -- I believe Henry David Thoreau stated when he was wandering about his pond :)

No, everything in Brussels is not bad. Here are some nice experiences I had during the week:
  • "Inside Man" -- I must say this is the first Spike Lee joint (film) that I have enjoyed throughly which I saw at UGC's Toison d'or location in Brussels. This is a well written story based on a banker's dark past and a group of bank "robbers" who apparently work at the Justice League fighting evil. Jodie Foster plays a very interesting "facilitator" who essentially blackmails her clients, one against the other, to help them achieve what they want while she gets paid very well for these services. The extra entertainment value for me is watching an American film with a foreign audience especially when you hear a line in the movie like, "Albania, Armenia, what's the difference?" to which an theatre audience member burst out with, "oh, my God....." in disbelief of Americans' lack of geographic knowledge (see my posting - "Watch More Dora" for background) . I will award Mr. Lee with a "3.5" rating.
  • "Men's Place" by Guido De Nutte -- NO, this is not a strip club this is a upscale barber with reasonable rates. This is probably THE best haircut/customer service I have received in my adult life. Were this a restaurant review I would award Men's Place with a "5" -- outstanding. Visit them at - 9A rue de l'industrie just off rue Belliard.

Bon soir,


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